Washington, D.C. residents and tourists alike came across a startling sight on Friday. The National Mall was full of red-robed Handmaids filming season 3 of Hulu’s Handmaid’s Tale.
Why yes it’s exciting to stumble upon a filming for the award-winning TV series — not to mention the show’s stars Elisabeth Moss, Yvonne Strahovski, and Joseph Fiennes — but from far away it wasn’t so obvious that the army of women were actually there for cinematic purposes and not a protest.
“Says something about 2019 that we had to see this up close to figure out if it was a protest or filming for the Handmaid's Tale season 3,” Rachel Bluth, a reporter for Kaiser Health News wrote on Twitter, sharing some close-up shots of the set as well as one far away approaching the Lincoln Memorial.
While the sight definitely looks like it could be a scene from the show, particularly the one featured in the season 3 trailer where the Washington Monument is turned into a gigantic cross, the sight was also reminiscent of protests D.C. and country has seen over the past few years.
In 2017, several protests where women wore red robes and white bonnets took place across the United States. Protesters gathered in Colorado, Ohio, Missouri, Texas, Washington, D.C. and more to protest various state bills affecting a woman’s right to choose and access to reproductive care.
In September 2018, “Handmaids” appeared at the trial of then Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, who was accused of sexual assault by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, and who many believe will further restrict women’s access to healthcare.
Many compare our current state of the union to the dystopian area displayed in the show, so the filming in our nation’s capital created a powerful image.
“Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale is shooting scenes right now on the National Mall,” NBC’s Caroline Tucker tweeted. “Quite a scene with dozens of extras dresses in red and white.”
New York Times reporter Kenneth Vogel wrote, “WHAT TIMING: On the day TRUMP declares a national emergency, filming is taking place in Washington for The Handmaid's Tale, a dystopian saga about a totalitarian regime that topples the United States gov't after the army declares of a state of emergency.”
WHAT TIMING: On the day TRUMP declares a national emergency, filming is taking place in Washington for The Handmaid's Tale, a dystopian saga about a totalitarian regime that topples the United States gov't after the army declares of a state of emergency.— Kenneth P. Vogel (@kenvogel) February 15, 2019
Photo via @SweeneyABC. pic.twitter.com/FZPDuXERtM